Tulsa King: His Majesty Sylvester Stallone (review)
Mafia drama, like a tailor-made gift for Sly by Taylor Sheridan. And he does it well!
It needs stars to exist in the streaming war. So the Paramount + platform, which has just landed in France, signed Sylvester Stallone to offer him his very first series: Tulsa King ! A mafia thriller drawn like a drama, which allows Sly to express all his talent and show that he has lost none of his animal charisma… at 75 years old.
He plays Dwight “The General” Manfredi, a New York Mafia Capo, released from prison after 25 years. He protected the family. He didn’t speak. But when he leaves, it is the son of the Godfather who is in charge and who decides to send him far away, to Oklahoma, where he must form a new network and establish a new and powerful criminal empire. Just that…
With a small side hibernatus, Sylvester Stallone arrives in the Great West, very far from Little Italy, and discovers the modern world, which has changed drastically since his incarceration in the 1990s. Sly plays the card of self-mockery wonderfully, the big guy outdated, a little has-been on the edges, but who always knows how to hit when necessary! Absolutely perfect in this made-to-measure mafia suit, he carries around his impressive septuagenarian biscotos in a decorum of comics.
It’s fun… But then it remains to be seen what Terence Winterthe acclaimed creator of Boardwalk Empire, will make this soft – hearted gangster . How deep will he want to go deep into drama and darkness? How far will he push Stallone out of his comfort zone to show him totally vulnerable? After a few episodes Tulsa King clearly does not (yet) have this ambition. The director and producer Taylor Sheridan – great manitou of Paramount + thanks to Yellowstone and its spin-offs – opt instead for the burlesque thriller over the top. A little predictable, often implausible (and slightly cheesy). But at the same time, what pleasure we take in seeing Sylvester Stallone sniffing anything that gets him drunk.
And then it’s been a long time since we’ve seen Sly so powerful, so deep, so nuanced, able to go from laughter to tears. The last time was maybe in Copland by James Mangold. It was in 1997, 25 years ago. Hey, it was that year that Dwight, the Tulsa Kingwent to jail…
Tulsa King, season 1 in 10 episodes, to see on Paramount + in France. Season 2 is ordered.